Tales 2012 – The World´s World Class Spirit – RUM!

Rum is my favorite spirit and this seminar took us through the history of rum in general and also it´s role in the tiki bars and how it is made – and they also let us taste 14 different rums and among them were some real gems.

 Tracing Rum’s pedigree from the earliest beginnings of sugarcane in New Guinea thousands of years ago through the discovery of distillation in southern Asia to Columbus’s planting of sugarcane in the New World in 1493, Rum maestros F. Paul Pacult and Sean Ludford will lead this seminar like a safari through time.

As Co-Directors of RUM FOR ALL, Pacult and Ludford are the ideal guides to sugarcane’s fascinating history and Rum’s rise as a world-class adult beverage, one that easily rivals Scotch, Cognac, Bourbon and Tequila.

Seminar includes a blind tasting of fourteen of the world’s most highly acclaimed Rums, from exotic tropical places like the West Indies, Barbados, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Nicaragua, Panama, Martinique and more. All For Rum and Rum For All!

I`m not gonna go into how rum is made and it´s history here, it´s been written already both here and on other great websites – so i move straight forward to the rums we tasted and how i found them.


1 - Shellback Silver – Now this is a good rum i never tried before! It´s a blend of lighter and heavier rums from a distillery on Barbados. I found it to be a flavorful rum with notes of tropical fruit and sweet sugarcane. It picked my interest…

2 - 10 Cane – no further explanation is needed..this is a well known rum and it´s a good one with lots of vanilla and sugarcane in the flavor.

3 - Denizen Rum – here´s another interesting and flavorful rum that was new to me – i liked this one a LOT! and it´s VERY interesting…

Here`s what the Rum For All website says:

Hidden away in Amsterdam, exist the last practitioners of alchemy in the world. With the power to transform the common into something…magical. And they’ve been doing it secretly since the 1700s, these master blenders of rum.

We asked them to free the flavor of rum long distilled out by mass producers. So they went to Trinidad and hand-selected barrels of white rum to be aged for five achingly long years. Then to Jamaica, to choose 15 types of the finest pot still rum.

Finally, back to Amsterdam, where they drew on centuries of experience, and their liberated spirit, to create the one rum without the blandness of most white rums or the overpowering taste of dark rums. A soulful rum without boundaries. For cocktails with integrity. For the denizens of the world.

To me it tasted fruity with lots of fruit, wood, dry  & sweet, well aged with layered flavors, complex.

I want to get my hands on a bottle of this…

4 – Brugal Especial extra Dry – On the nose this didn´t smell much to me, it was quite faint and sweet and it tasted delicate, like filtered – designed for modern delicate cocktails. It didn`t speak so much to me – but that said is not the same as saying it´s not good, it surely suits those palates that prefer delicate spirits but that´s just not me – i more like full bodied and bold flavors and that´s why i´m so fond of jamaican pot still and demerara and navy rums..

5 – Banks 7 Golden Age Rum – Another well known rum producer to me but this one i had never tried before. As the name suggests it uses 7 rums from 7 different countries, much like they did when they made the 5 island Rum.

To the original Trinidad, Jamaica, Guyana, Barbados and Java, is here added Guatemalan and Panamian rums to the mix. But there´s actually 23 rums used in the blend…and  as we can understand it´s not an easy thing to balance that out. it`s a blend of both pot and column still molasses-based rums and aged between one and seven years in bourbon barrels.

This rum is quite light and has tropical fruit flavors, but it still has some spice and that is coming from the Batavia arrak in the mix i`m sure…and it´s actually lighter and sweeter than the 5 Island to me. To me this is just like the 5 Island very much a good daiquiri rum.

6 – Bacardi 8 – This is one of the good one´s from Bacardi, the nose is deep and sweet, fruity and complex and the taste the same with the addition of oak. To me this is a good mixer and floater in cocktails.

7 – Don Q Gran Anejo – Another classic good aged rum – with a sweet, crisp freshness paired with spices and oak. A warm and inviting rum!

8 – Depaz Blue Cane – A rum i know already and it´s a good rhum agricole with the typical fresh grassy nose and flavor you find in agricole rums. It`s smooth and complex, a good one.

9 – Ron Abuelo 12 – In the nose i find fruity oak and caramel, it´s a complex blend and the flavor develops richly in the mouth. It´s dark, rich, molasses and dried fruits, smooth and complex.

10 – Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva – Sweet, rich, caramel, toffee, molasses in a blend of 80% heavy pot still and 20% light rum. It´s indeed a very fine rum and one of the classic premium aged rums.

11 – Appleton Estate Reserve – One of the amazing rums from Appleton, it´s rich with sugarcane and oak, deep, vanilla, dark roast and complex – expertly blended of 8 to 12 year old rums.

12 – Mount Gay Extra Old – We keep tasting the real premiums now…this classic rum is very rich, fruits, molasses and wood, smoky, earthy and complex. One of my old favorite rums.

13 – Flor de Cana 18 Centenario Gold – It´s a bit woody and dryish, dried tropical fruits – it´s rich and complex, a real sipper.

14 – Zacapa Rum 23 – The classic…Smooth, toffee, sweet, complex, caramel, spices…aged in oak from 6 to 23 years in high mountain warehouses, it´s a favorite…

So there you have it – all 14 rums we tasted and i really did enjoy this seminar…

The best rum is always the one in my glass…

Tasting glasses…

Photography Ken Stock

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